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Archive for April, 2008

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Remember mini maestro?  Man, she really didn’t have much hair did she?  

Well, since Chase’s little table and chairs are still just a smidge to big for her to use comfortably she has resurrected this toy for use creating her masterpieces.  Many, many masterpieces.  We went out to dinner last week at Donna’s where they gave her two crayons to color with and ever since she’s been big into ‘creating.’  She likes her sidewalk chalk too.  They have big buckets of it in the dollar spot at target, a good deal.  

More tomorrow… or maybe Friday.  I’m in the throes of a take home exam but find the need to take numerous breaks.  That means I’ll be working hard tomorrow night to wrap this up.  Remember that paper that was plaguing me that I just recently mustered the nerve to finish?  Well it was well received and I got some exciting news about it so I’m waiting to see if anything pans out.  

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Monday, April 28th, 2008

Play Free Bird!

Woo woo! I’m back from the concert. First of all, I have never been to the Academy of Music before, now that is a fantastic venue. It’s a really, really beautiful hall. The whole place is gilt but that wasn’t the best part. The best part was that we were like 6 or 8 rows from the stage. It was pretty fabulous even though she didn’t play secret heart. Not only was the ticket an excellent graduation present but it came with a feist sack! A canvas tote to add to my prized collection of.. canvas totes of which I have many… many. Before the show we had dinner with Danielle’s coworker and his girlfriend at Fado. I’m glad I’m typing this and not telling you outloud because I still don’t know how that’s pronounced. I had a crazy salty steak boxty. It was described at the table as an Irish burrito if that helps you to imagine what it was like. Of course that means that the “tortilla” was a thin potato pancake. It was good but way too salty. The bread pudding though was out of this world and I am VERY picky about bread pudding. Theirs had bits of apples in it and was super moist and not overly dense, very good. Overall it was a great meal, her friends were nice, funny and made good conversation to boot. Oh, I forgot to mention that Hayden opened. Who? Hayden, only Danielle’s most favroitest artist ever. She actually wanted to leave after his set was over. It was good craic!

She’ll be on the Colbert Report tonite! I drove home foolishly in the middle of the night so I’m on like no sleep and working my little fingers to the bone on some outstanding projects. I’ve been forgetting things here and there so I’ve taken some time to write stuff down.

This weekend was also the spring fair at Johns Hopkins. It’s a lot like fling, very much the same but different. Instead of a lot of moonbounce type stuff they have actual carnival rides. They had craft vendors and a big food area. Overall it seemed a lot more community oriented than fling ever did. I took Chase on her first ride which she really enjoyed. Then we checked out some capoeira (if there’s a drum circle anywere Chase is there) AND a breakdancing contest that was probably the highlight of the afternoon.

When we got home Ben and the dad that lives next door got the brilliant idea to put a gate between our yards so that the kids can play together. Admittedly this is a great idea and as you can see they had a good time together BUT when I said they put a gate in I mean they just cut out a section of fence. Sigh, their supposed to make it a gate at some point in the near future. I’ll believe it when I see it. Meanwhile I guess it’s worth it if the kids are enjoying themselves.

On the developmental front, Chase has a few new words. Out, dog, cookie and cracker are all words I here a lot of. While I was out yesterday Ben reports that there was more food thievery afoot. He told me that Chase walked into the kitchen and returned to the living room going directly to the corner whereupon she started nibbling something squirrel-like using two hands to hold it. Turns out it was a brownie boosted from the kitchen table. Where does she come up with these ideas??

We picked out first veg! We have radishes and salad aplenty. Those cukes are from the store of course. I usually have good luck growing cucumber though last year was sort of only a partial success. I heard that the lore in Maryland is that if you direct sow after June 15 your plants won’t be susceptible to powdery mildew. I guess the same goes for zukes and pumpkins et. al. I’m going to give it a shot. I’m going to place an order for our next batch of seeds sometime this week, maybe Sunday.

Lastly, check out the statue. I couldn’t help but take a picture. The man on the opposite side? He is, of course, modestly draped or I’m sure he would be similarly afflicted. Remember, you have to click twice to see the full size image.

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Friday, April 25th, 2008

Jury Duty

So they did have wi-fi at the courthouse.. for the small fee of 6 bucks a day!  Believe me, I shelled out the cash because I like to make sure that I don’t have any new email like 10 or 11 times a day.  The good news is that I learned a lot today and will never fear jury duty again.  

I arrived at 8:15 as instructed and took my seat in the jury waiting room.  The staff it surprisingly nice and handle their duties with lighthearted humor.. what’s up with happy civil servants?  It’s not very plush but they showed a movie and even though it was a crappy one it was an acceptable distraction.  I did learn later that the quiet room was a lot more comfortable and had abundant electrical outlets for charging things.  

I wasn’t called until about 11:30.  They herded us all into the courtroom where we had to rise one at a time so that counsel could look us over.  It was very livestock at the state fair like.  Then the judge asked a bunch of questions to evaluate whether or not you thought you could be an impartial juror.  He also asked if you thought serving would be a hardship.  Initially I thought that the prospect of finding childcare for several days would pose a hardship but when I got into the courtroom and saw the defendants and looked around at the other jurors I got to thinking maybe I do need to serve on this jury.  I did tell the judge that I have exams and that I knew his intern from school to which he responded, thank you and told me to go park it.  In the end my number wasn’t called so my duty was fulfilled by just showing up today.  It was really interesting to watch the attorneys go through the jurors whose numbers were called to see which ones they objected to.  It might seem obvious but you can look at the defendants and then look at the jurors and figure out in a matter of seconds who’s going home and who’s not.  The prosecution will strike anyone who they think will be overly sympathetic, in this case anyone who was too young and/or ‘too black’ was stricken.  The defense took the other extreme striking all the bluehairs and blue collar looking white guys.  Anyone who looked young, hip and/or liberal was in it for the long haul.  The only attorney in the crowd was released too, I don’t think it was any mistake that he wore his best khaki/blue blazer combo today, feigning shock when he was asked to sit down.  

We didn’t get to eat lunch until almost 2 o’clock a few more minutes and they would have had to scrape me off the bench.  My 15 bucks was plenty to cover lunch at Suzie’s Soba.  I’ve heard good things about the location in Hampden and we just happened upon the one downtown by chance.  The spring rolls were better than any I’ve had in a long time.  As good or better than taste of home on U street!  Homemade limeade was on the house for jurors too so that was a nice perk.  

I was pleasantly surprised to arrive and find a familiar face was also called to serve today.  I ran into a woman we know from the library and from a neighborhood playgroup.  It was nice to have someone to have lunch with.  Ironically, we would have otherwise seen each other at the library this morning.  Ben took Chase to the library since I couldn’t and I felt good that she got to go because we missed last week too for her doctor’s appointment.  

Thanks for all your kind words about getting through the semester.  I have not been focussed on the fact that I still have exams.  I have to give an oral argument bright and early tomorrow morning for which I am not prepared and at this point never will be.  I look forward to putting it behind me even if it’s painful and awkward to get through.  It’s causing me more stress to have it hanging over my head than any exam ever could.  The other event on the horizon this weekend is the Feist concert!  I can’t wait, I listened to both albums today to get in the mood.  

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Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Done, Done and Done

I’m done.  Done.  I finished law school.  I still have exams, but if I haven’t failed an exam yet I don’t expect to start now.  In fact, I got a quiz back today with an A+ on it.  I wanted to show everyone else in the class.  Show them that I’m not a fraud, that I know what I’m talking about cause I’ve always wanted to do that.  

Danielle said that I should go out with a bang and show up for class drunk and even though I decided against it, one guy showed up for my first class with a 40 in a paper bag and a plastic cup and my professor for the second class brought 3 6-packs so I guess I could have.  Although, with that to compete with no one would have thought it was anything novel.  

I have jury duty tomorrow.  Can you believe that?  I can’t go watch trading at NASDAQ cause I have crappy jury duty.  Not to mention that I have to be there by 8:15.  That means I have to set an alarm and stuff.  I can count on Chase if I need to be somewhere by 9 but I don’t think I can trust her to get me somewhere by 8.  That, and who knows what the roads are like in the morning.  I’m only going like 15 blocks but I bet traffic is horrific with all the lights and parking, oy the parking.  I’m not looking forward to this at all.  You are not allowed to bring any knitting, sewing or crochet implements so that’s out of the question.  You can bring your laptop but if there’s no wi-fi and no outlets then what’s the point?  I guess I’ll bring the ipod for some tunes, I have a magazine and a novel too.  No, I need to bring some text books with me.  Gotta remember to do that. 

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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Zoo Time!

We are so loving this weather. I like to get together with my friend Wendy on Tuesdays so Chase can play with her little girl. We met in a prenatal yoga class and our babies were born only one day apart. The girls interact so well together, it’s terribly cute that their personalities mesh well. This was our first visit to the zoo. I’ve never been to the Maryland zoo before and I thought it was pretty nice. The last zoo I visited was with my class to the Philadelphia zoo. That place is enough to put you off zoo’s forever. They should append “the saddest place on earth” to the sign out front. It’s been a while but that’s how it’s embedded in my memory. Anyway, the zoo was nice and is only a stone’s thrown from our house. I think it took us less than 10 minutes to get over there. It’s set right in Druid Hill park which is really nice. The paths meander through woodland and even though it’s kind of hilly there’s shade in lots of parts and the trees help to keep it cool. I’ll bet it’s scorching in the heat of summer all the same though. Read the rest of this entry »

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Monday, April 21st, 2008

$$$

I’m happy because I didn’t buy ANYTHING today.

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Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Always Too Short

I wasn’t going to start off complaining about how short the weekend is but it’s so true. That being said, it was all the same pretty good. We had an impromptu bbq yesterday with friends that was laid back and fun. It’s rare that I feel a get together is laid back. I’m kind of a crappy hostess. In spite of being pretty good at it in my head it never really seems to work out the way I had planned. Everyone ends up stressed out. At least I always get stressed out but this time my goal was to make an effort to keep it really simple and I think it worked. We had this giant bottle of Grolsch beer leftover in the fridge that was more than the two of us could handle together in addition to a handful of mismatched bottles. Beer and simple food= a pretty good time.

I finished two projects. I made a little sundress and a top and pants from the same pattern. The second time around things went a lot more smoothly but the end result of both was reasonably good. The dress still needs to be tweaked to fit properly and I have to cut all the threads and jazz off. Chase let me put it on her to take pictures and then wore it all morning but as soon as I try to catch her to fiddle with it…well she’s not having it.

We were playing on the bed today when she stopped dead in her tracks looked at me, did the sign for more followed by the sign to eat. I was totally stunned because I haven’t used those signs with her for months. She pretty much lost interest in signing once she could point and say a few words but she knew exactly what she was doing. It’s amazing how all of that info gets stored in there. She’s also saying a couple of new words. The only one I can think of right now is sit but she’s also saying versions of cricket and teenie more clearly as well as trying to sing baa baa blacksheep. I, of course, am STILL bop.

I’ve been thinking about buying a spotbot for the rugs for a long time and finally broke down and bought one. I shouldn’t have, I felt bad about it all the way home and for a long time after that but I think I’m going to keep it. All of my friends tease me about it and I get all defensive about it but I think they might be right. I think I have a spending problem. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it but I have to do something. I always rationalize by saying well it’s not like I’m buying a lot of expensive clothes or new cars or jewelery or even books for crying out loud but seriously, yesterday at Costco there was this woman trying to up-sell people to their goldstar membership. What they do is tally your spending and then tell you how much you would have qualified for in rebates with the membership. Their goal is to show you that you would earn enough in rebates to cover the cost of the more expensive membership. Even though we already subscribe to that membership I asked her to tally out of morbid curiosity. The number made me throw up in my mouth a little. It was pretty bad. So, I’m turning over a new leaf. Work more spend less.

A huge problem that I have identified is that I use shopping as something to do and a way to get out of the house. I’m thinking that I need to use that time to exercise or something but not to go to target or the mall or whatever. There’s no reason to be at some store like 5 days a week. I also tend to think that we’re careless and wasteful as a result of this habit. I bet that we already have half of the stuff that I run errands for already in the house but that’s all done with too.

To turning over new leaves AND to my last WEEK of law school EVER.

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Friday, April 18th, 2008

Happy Friday

I didn’t get to wish my regular happy friday-er happy friday and I feel a little sad because of it, so happy friday to everybody. Today was just too nice to sit at my computer. I even managed to get Ben out of the house for a late lunch and a trip to the park.  Chase ate her fill of guacamole and I got a much needed burrito and respite from trying to fashion something edible for lunch out of what’s left in the fridge on Fridays.   It was 85 and sunny in Baltimore so it was a good day to be out.

Chase had her 15 month checkup today.  She dropped 11oz since she started walking so she’s back on the chart again.  She also sprouted up an inch and a quarter.  Where does she find the time to do so much growing?  She’s working on two molars in addition to her 8 teeth.  She was slow getting started on the chompers but now it seems they’re all coming in at once.

Chase already has three ride on cars (how did that happen?) but she was petitioning hard for a third. I’m usually a pushover but I have to put my foot down on this one because this place is starting to look like a daycare center. She’ll just have to play with the one at the park.

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

A Suspicious Silence

This is what I found in the wake of the suspicious silence. I guess that’s what you get for leaving a bag of groceries for 10 seconds. Did you do anything today but eat grapes? Yes, but only marginally so. I bought a carton of milk from Whole Foods on Monday and brought it home only to have it leak all over the fridge. As a matter of principle I felt that it needed to be returned to the store. They happily gave me a new carton in exchange and now I don’t have to feel bad about wasted milk and money.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Monday, April 14th, 2008

Time For Some Real Blogging

So I feel like I haven’t been writing real posts, not like the old days. (Way more than) half the time I feel like my attention is split. Even when I’m not working on another immediate task I’m almost always thinking about one. That being said, I got another big project off my desk for the time being and thought I’d take the time to focus my attention here. This weekend was fun. It was good to be away from home for just a little while. It was actually a well timed trip because the power was out here all night on Saturday which would surely have driven Ben and I both completely mad. I’ll be back up that way in two weeks for the Feist concert. I haven’t looked forward to anything like this for a while, it’s going to be fabulous, I’m so excited.

I’ve been baking from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book with pretty good results. I made banana muffins on Friday that are by far the best I’ve ever made. I will never go back to making whole loaves muffins are the way to go. This is going to be my recipe from here on out. It’s made completely from whole wheat flour, either white or traditional. I used mini chips (I always only use mini chips) and white whole wheat. I didn’t measure the nutmeg either I just grated right over the bowl. Whole nutmeg has completely changed me, I’m a nutmeg convert. I had completely written it off. I would hear how different whole grated nutmeg is but have just now gotten around to trying it and it’s true, you CAN believe everything that you hear about it. Someone has already posted the recipe here.

Other than that we haven’t been up to much. Just trying to keep motivated to get through the next two weeks. Can you believe that after all this time, I’m down to the last two weeks… EVER, not of the semester… EVER. I like to repeat this to myself several times a day. The thought always cheers me up. I picked up some of my bar review materials today. I enjoyed carrying the box around it was like a badge of honor. I’m graduating.. see? See?? I have a few random pics that have been saved in my phone for a while. I like to call this one Ahh, Java or ask me again after my cuppa.

Seriously though it’s just milk and even though the new Starbu brew is good after all the hooppla and retraining, we’ve ben drinking coffee from Zeke’s. The Montebello Reserve is right up our alley. The switch was supposed to be a money saving endeavor. It didn’t quite work out that way but the coffee’s good and we’re supporting local business. Here’s a picture of Chase cavorting in the beans.

The smell in this place is unbelievable. It was kind of like the first time I tasted coffee at La Colombe in Philly. That was one of the first time something food related very nearly blew my mind. I wish I could remember the girl’s name that brought my there in the first place. That was the real deal, no signs, nothing. You had to know what you were there for and hurry up and order it at the bar without getting in anyone’s way.

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